LeBron speaks: On eve of 1st real practice with Heat, James takes center stage in Miami

By Tim Reynolds, AP
Monday, September 27, 2010

On eve of Heat camp, James takes center stage

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Since LeBron James joined the Miami Heat, he’s been called a quitter, had his competitive nature questioned, heard others say he made a bad business decision.

In one breath, he says none of it matters.

Yet the NBA’s reigning MVP does acknowledge this much — all the doubters are fueling him.

“I do have a lot of motivation,” James said.

Music to the Heat collective ears, right there. Donning his new Heat home uniform and sitting alongside fellow star teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, James spoke Monday on the eve of his first practice with his new club, and said the team “will let our game do the talking.”

James signed a $109.8 million, six-year deal with Miami on July 9, one day after starring in an hourlong TV special to announce he was leaving Cleveland. There has been constant outcry since — Cavs owner Dan Gilbert called James a quitter, rivals questioned his competitiveness, and Dallas owner Mark Cuban said James executed “the largest public humiliation in the history of sports.”

“He is a motivated player right now,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The Heat begin training camp Tuesday at Hurlburt Field, a U.S. Air Force installation in Florida’s Panhandle. On the night he signed, James predicted Miami would win multiple titles with him, Wade and Bosh leading the charge.

His thinking hasn’t changed on that front since July. Asked if the Heat are facing a “championship or bust” season, James coolly responded: “Not bust. But it is championship.”

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